Apple Introduces Mac OS 8--Most Significant Macintosh Operating System Release Since 1984
Milestone Operating System Upgrade Features Improved User Experience, Best-of-Class Internet Integration, Industry Leading Multimedia, and Enhanced Performance and Stability
Cupertino, Calif.--July 22, 1997--Apple Computer, Inc. today introduced Mac OS 8, the latest operating system software release for the Macintosh--and the most significant Mac OS upgrade since 1984. Mac OS 8 also represents the latest milestone in the Company's dual operating system strategy which includes the delivery of ongoing Mac OS releases and system updates, as well as Rhapsody, the code name for Apple's next-generation operating system. Mac OS 8 includes a multitude of new features and technologies to offer customers an improved user experience with increased productivity and efficiency, greatly simplified Internet access and leading-edge tools, state-of-the-art multimedia capabilities, and enhanced performance and stability.
Avie Tevanian, senior vice president, Software Engineering at Apple said, "The depth of Internet capabilities in Mac OS 8, along with a dramatically improved user experience, a faster, multi-threaded PowerPC-native Finder, and industry leading multimedia technologies will delight Macintosh customers. Mac OS 8 exemplifies Apple's continued commitment to advancing the Mac OS and providing customers with the industry's most compelling technologies--all with classic Macintosh ease-of-use."
Improved User Experience; Greater Productivity and Efficiency
Mac OS 8 delivers a more advanced user experience, empowering customers with increased productivity and efficiency through improved system responsiveness, access and control, as well as scalable functionality for all user levels and a new, platinum appearance.
For optimized system responsiveness, Mac OS 8 features a multi-threaded, PowerPC-native Finder, enabling faster operations and multi-tasking such as copying files while simultaneously performing other operations. To give users more direct system access and control, Mac OS 8 offers unique spring-loaded folders which open when a file is dragged on top of them; pop-up windows that allow folders, hard drives or network volumes to be moved to the bottom of the screen in the form of a tab which can then be opened with a single click; and contextual menus which give a list of actions that apply to a selected icon, window or text when it is clicked while holding down the control key.
To meet the needs of all users, features in Mac OS 8 are scalable. Novice users may select the "View as Button" and/or "Short Menus" options for simplified access to applications and their documents.
Augmenting Mac OS 8's improved user experience is supplementary help available from the hyper-text information source, Mac OS Info Center. Through HTML-based content on the user's hard drive, the Mac OS Info Center uses the preferred browser to provide detailed information and answers to questions such as "What's new in Mac OS 8?" and "What can I do with this particular feature/technology?". The Mac OS Info Center also provides live links to late-breaking Mac OS news and more detailed information on the web about Apple technologies.
Harness the Power of the Internet
Mac OS 8 enables users to access the Internet more quickly and easily than ever before and includes a rich set of browsing, communications, and information services, as well as the ability to author and share information over the Internet. With Mac OS 8, customers can access the Internet via a single configuration process which covers all Internet elements including TCP/IP, PPP, and mail and web services. An Internet Set Up Assistant helps users configure their systems through simple questions and answers and helps first-time Internet users to select an Internet Service Provider (ISP) by giving them an up-to-date list of ISPs for their area, then automatically configures their system (U.S., Canada and Japan only) based on their selection. Single-click Internet access is provided via web browser and e-mail desktop icons as well from all applications with the "Connect to..." menu item.
Best Browsing and Communications Tools
Additionally, Mac OS 8 offers some of the industry's best browsing and communications tools, providing a full range of services for all needs. Included with Mac OS 8 are Netscape Navigator 3.01 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.01 for browsing the World Wide Web. Mac OS 8 also includes Claris Emailer Lite for mail services, and America Online 3.0. Mac OS Runtime for Java, integrated with Mac OS 8, enables users to run Java cross-platform programs just like any other desktop application.
Easy Web Publishing Across Platforms
Mac OS 8 provides users with easy access to Internet authoring and sharing of content within intranets and over the Internet via two key features--Personal Web Sharing and Personal Net Finder. Personal Web Sharing instantly turns any Mac OS computer into a web server by enabling HTML and other web formatted content to be accessed by web browsers on any platform. Personal Net Finder provides a Finder-like listing of shared files and folders on a Mac OS computer to anyone connecting to it. This extends the capabilities of Mac OS file sharing over Internet-standard protocols to anyone, on any platform, with a browser.
Leading-Edge Information Services and "Push" Technologies
Complementing Mac OS 8's outstanding Internet integration are leading-edge information services to bring customized news, information and support to the desktop. The latest "push" technologies are provided including The PointCast Network and Marimba's Castanet Tuner. The PointCast Network is the first news and information service to broadcast up to-the-minute content directly to a viewer's computer screen. The PointCast Network in Mac OS 8 will also include an Apple channel which notifies Mac users about breaking Apple-related news stories, software updates, new product announcements, customer support news, and other special information that enhances their ownership experience.
Marimba's Castanet technology automatically distributes and maintains Java software and content within a company or across the Internet. By bundling Castanet with Mac OS 8, customers can view any type of "channel": internal corporate applications, multimedia consumer channels, and more.
Collaboration with Excite for Easy Internet Navigation
As a starting point for Internet exploration, Apple has collaborated with Excite to provide information delivery and Internet navigation services in Mac OS 8. As part of this collaboration, Excite has created special versions of its leading navigation services--Excite My Channel, Excite Search, and Excite Guide--for Apple to feature as part of the dynamic home page services in Mac OS 8. Excite My Channel (http://livepage.apple.com) delivers timely news and information based on an individual's personalized interests. Excite Search (http://livepage.apple.com/search) is a comprehensive search service that provides users with a way to locate and sort relevant online information quickly and efficiently. Excite Guide (http://livepage.apple.com/guide) provides reviews of leading websites by category. These services will be easily accessible as the defaults with the web browsers included with Mac OS 8.
Premier Cross-Platform Multimedia Authoring & Playback
Apple's multi-platform QuickTime Media Layer (QTML) technologies are showcased in Mac OS 8 to provide customers with premier multimedia authoring and playback capabilities. Integrated with Mac OS 8 is QuickTime 2.5, the widely adopted software architecture used by software tools vendors and content creators to develop and deliver synchronized graphics, sound, video, text, and music. QuickTime in Mac OS 8 also supports MPEG software decompression for full screen, full motion video playback without additional hardware on PowerPC-based Mac OS computers. With QuickTime VR 2.0, Apple's award-winning cross-platform software for creating and viewing photo-realistic environments (panoramas) and real-world objects, virtual reality is brought to the Mac OS 8 desktop without any additional hardware.
Also included in Mac OS 8 are QuickDraw 3D 1.5, a system software technology and application program interface (API) which enables the creation and rendering of real-time, workstation-class 3D graphics, and QuickDraw GX, the industry-leading architecture for 2D graphics, animation and type.
Enhanced Performance & Stability
Mac OS 8 brings a new level of performance and stability to the Mac OS. With more PowerPC processor optimized components, such as the Finder, overall system performance and stability are increased. As with Mac OS 7.6.1, Type 11 errors are greatly reduced--and most application errors do not effect the system or other applications. To prevent problems before they start, system diagnosis is performed during installation including checks for disk problems and driver updating.
Pricing & Availability
Mac OS 8 is expected to be available in the U.S. and Canada beginning July 26, 1997. The estimated retail price for Mac OS 8 in the U.S. is $99 for the CD-ROM version. Current Mac OS 7.6. or Mac OS 7.6.1 owners will be eligible for a $30 rebate, bringing the upgrade for those customers to U.S. $69. Customers qualify for the upgrade rebate if they purchased the retail version of Mac OS 7.6, purchased a system that came with Mac OS 7.6 or 7.6.1, or received Mac OS 7.6 or 7.6.1 through the Mac OS Up-To-Date Program. Customers who purchase the retail version of Mac OS 7.6 in the U.S. between June 1 and July 31, 1997 are eligible to receive Mac OS 8 for the shipping and handling charge of U.S. $9.95 by calling the Apple Software Order Center at (800) 293-6617.
Mac OS 8 will be made available for purchase on CD-ROM only, however customers may request a floppy diskette version of Mac OS 8 after purchasing the CD-ROM version by returning the coupon included inside the box. The floppy version is available for $25 plus $6.95 shipping and handling and applicable sales tax.
Customers who purchase a qualifying Macintosh or Mac OS-compatible computer on or after June 22, 1997 that does not have Mac OS 8 installed or included can upgrade for the shipping and handling fee of U.S. $9.95 through the Mac OS Up-To-Date Program. For more information, visit http://www.macos.apple.com/macos/releases/fulfillment.html or call (800) 335-9258.
Localized versions of Mac OS 8 are expected to be available to customers in many countries outside the U.S. in approximately 90 days. To ensure the compatibility of Mac OS 8 with all Apple Language Kits, an updater is expected to be available by July 26, 1997 on the Apple website at: http://www.info.apple.com/.
For additional information on Mac OS 8, please visit the Mac OS 8 website at: http://www.macos.apple.com/macos8/.
Mac OS 8 works with most existing applications, extensions and drivers, and provides excellent backward compatibility. Mac OS 8 supports all 68040- and PowerPC processor-based Mac OS compatible systems. 68030-based systems, including those with PowerPC upgrade cards, are not supported. Mac OS 8 supports Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP)-based systems. At least 12 MB of physical RAM is required. With less than 20 MB of physical RAM, virtual memory must be turned on and set to at least 20 MB.
Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized innovator in the information industry and leader in multimedia technologies, creates powerful solutions based on easy-to-use personal computers, servers, peripherals, software, handheld computers and Internet content. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple develops, manufactures, licenses and markets solutions, products, technologies and services for business, education, consumer, entertainment, scientific and engineering and government customers in more than 140 countries.
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